Ten are from N.C., four from S.C.
The Bassmaster Elite Series field has been announced for the 2021 season, and it includes a total of 101 anglers. Fourteen of those are from the Carolinas. Every angler that fished the 2020 Elite Series is returning, and 13 others have been added.
Those 13 new anglers qualified for the Elite Series through the Bassmaster Opens and the B.A.S.S. Nation championship. Of these 13, nine will be competing for the Rookie of the Year title. Four others are established anglers who competed in other trails last year and do not qualify as rookies because each of them have earned more than $500,000 in combined B.A.S.S. and FLW winnings throughout their careers.
Of those nine competing for Rookie of the Year, two are from the Carolinas. Bryan New of Belmont, N.C. won the Bassmaster Opens Angler of the Year title in 2020, qualifying him for the Elite Series. KJ Queen of Catawba, N.C. qualified through the B.A.S.S. Eastern Opens.
Carolina anglers competing in the 2021 Bassmaster Elite Series
- Matt Arey, Shelby, N.C.
- Brandon Card, Salisbury, N.C.
- Hank Cherry, Lincolnton, N.C.
- Rob Digh, Denver, N.C.
- David Fritts, Lexington, N.C.
- Shane LeHew, Catawba, N.C.
- Shane Lineberger, Lincolnton, N.C.
- Bryan New, Belmont, N.C.
- K.J. Queen, Catawba, N.C.
- Jake Whitaker, Fairview, N.C.
- Todd Auten, Lake Wylie, S.C.
- Brandon Cobb, Greenwood, S.C.
- Patrick Walters, Summerville, S.C.
- Jason Williamson, Wagener, S.C.
The first tournament of the 2021 Elite Series season is on the St. Johns River in Palatka, Fl., which runs Feb. 11 – 14. Of the nine tournaments on the Elite Series trail this year, none will be held in the Carolinas.
2021 Bassmaster Elite Series Tournament Schedule
- Feb. 11 – 14 AFTCO Bassmaster Elite at St. Johns River Palatka, FL.
- Feb. 25 – 28 Bassmaster Elite at Tennessee River Knoxville, TN.
- March 18 – 21 Bassmaster Elite at Pickwick Lake Florence, AL.
- April 8 – 11 Bassmaster Elite at Sabine River Orange, TX.
- April 22 – 25 Bassmaster Elite at Lake Fork Emory, TX.
- May 6 – 9 Bassmaster Elite at Neely Henry Lake Gadsden, AL.
- May 20 – 23 Bassmaster Elite at Lake Guntersville Scottsboro, AL.
- July 8 – 11 Bassmaster Elite at Lake Champlain Burlington, VT.
- July 15 – 18 Bassmaster Elite at St. Lawrence River Waddington N.Y.
JOIN THE CLUB, get unlimited access for $2.99/month
Become the most informed Sportsman you know, with a membership to the Carolina Sportsman Magazine and CarolinaSportsman.com.